It was my first time shooting for a beauty pageant contest. I was lucky enough to be able to participate in this fun experience. The creative team from SCTV (who invented Miss Celebrity), Yosie and his producer Moenir, called me with a request, “Bring us photos that will surprise us, different to any other existing beauty contests pictures in Indonesia, but got to be easy to enjoy, and without making our contestants ugly.” So I did.
My concept was very simple. Nature. We tried to make all the props from natural elements; watermelon, lobster, dried crabs (no animal cruelty, promise), sea stars, branches, leaves and anything else that I could think of. The location was Macan Island, in Pulau Seribu area.
I used one portable battery pack flash head from Profoto with an umbrella to make better portraits under the sun. I sometimes used it as fill-in light, sometimes as back light to give nice rim light on the models. My Canon 5Dmk2 has flash sync at 1/200, therefore I needed a strong flash as I had to use small aperture in the bright sunny day. If not, whenever practical, I also used one or two round reflectors.
After shooting 5 (out of 20) contestants, I realized that I had made a wrong strategy. I used a different (scenery) background for every girl. And to come up with 20 different backgrounds in such a small island was turned out to be quite a challenge.
The other problem was time. I only had one day to make 4o images to be displayed on the final, live on tv. And the girls were all amateurs, a kind of girl-next-door trying to make their first move to the celebrity world. That made posing a challenge too. We pulled it off anyway, thanks to my solid team.
Thanks SCTV and Miss Celebrity. Hope to see you guys, and new girls, in 2012.
I shared my photographs with no watermark. Please do not abuse the good faith and the copyrights.